June 17, 2010 - Testing to determine the full extent of oil and chemical contamination, the inheritance of a century of gas production on the Gloucester waterfront, is beginning this summer on Harbor Loop.
Oil was detected on Harbor Loop in 2005, when the planned rehabilitation of the city harbormaster's wharf was halted after drilling there spread an oily sheen across the surface of the harbor.
It was not unexpected.
Harbor Loop had been the home of the former Gloucester Gas Light Co. manufactured gas plant in the 19th century, a major source of energy before the days of natural gas pipelines or liquefied natural gas container ships.
But precisely what is down there and how far it has spread beneath the surface is still unclear.